COLIN Gordon Gamble was the epitome of the volunteer who gave generously of his time, effort and expertise to his community and everyone who came into contact with him.
He was a big man in many ways. Tall in stature, big hearted and generous with a strong sense of humour, he worked tirelessly for the village of Bramhope, near Otley, where he lived, as well as Otley Rugby Club, of which he was a member for more than 40 years. He was also a very proud family man.
Mr Gamble, who has died aged 76, was born in Harrogate, the son of Bill and Eileen Gamble, and was brought up at Buttoner House Farm, Lindley, near Otley, and later at Bank Top Farm, Arthington.
He was the oldest member of Bramhope and Carlton Parish Council, on which he had served since 2003, and also one of the most active.
He was on the committees dealing with planning, village maintenance and finance, was the council’s liaison with the Bramhope in Bloom group and with sports clubs using the village recreation ground.
He was also an enthusiastic volunteer for any ad hoc activities of the council, and played a prominent part in organising the village Jubilee celebrations last year. He also took a keen interest in road safety issues in both Bramhope and Carlton.
Mr Gamble took responsibility each year for erecting and lighting the village Christmas tree with his son Andrew. He and his wife Sue also put up the Christmas tree in Bramhope Puritan Chapel each year for the annual carol service.
Since 1980 he had run his own business in the village.
He had a great love of sport, but his main interest was rugby union, especially Otley Rugby Club where he gave so much of his time at all levels.
Among his many contributions he was touch judge and bag man for the 1st XV and the Luddites, a committee member and groundsman, duty officer, and a member of the Wednesday Gang, who did maintenance each week.
He also coached mini-rugby for eight years and was a regular fundraiser and event organiser. On match days he would also operate the PA system or the scoreboard, or could be found going round the spectators with a fundraising bucket.
One member of the club said of him: “If you wanted something doing, Colin was your man”.
His commitment to everything he did was unconditional and done with enjoyment.
He was also a member of Bramhope Tennis Club, and Headingley Golf Club.
Mr Gamble is survived by Sue, his wife of 33 years, his children, Fiona, Angela and Andrew, and grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A thanksgiving service for his life will be held at St Giles’ Church, Bramhope, on Tuesday at 11.30am.